As they prepare to hit the road on a throwback “I Love The 90s” tour, the Grammy award winning rap group Salt-N-Pepa is receiving “surprisingly amazing” excitement from fans. The group includes Cheryl James (Salt), Sandra Denton (Pepa) and Deidra Roper (DJ Spinderella). Salt-N-Pepa blew up with their first hit single “Push It” in the late 80s and have remained on the scene since then (with the exception of a now temporary breakup in 2002).
James recently chatted with USA TODAY to discuss the first all-female rap group’s success and how they are able to keep pushing it to the top through shows and touring as well as her feelings about hip hop, past and present. Check out some excepts.
On missing the 90s:
The music was more diverse…You had so many choices of women who represented different voices. Latifah was the queen. Salt-N-Pepa brought fun fashion and femininity to hip hop. Lauryn Hill was the consciousness. Foxy Brown was (hardcore). Lil’ Kim was sexy. MC Lyte was strong. Missy (Elliott) was innovative and super creative. It was more of an interesting time for hip hop: the fashions that were being created, the trends that were being set.
On the current women in rap:
I need to do my homework. I went online and listened to a few people, and nobody has particularly grabbed me. A lot of what I heard was not for me, so I’m still looking for something new.
On how she feels about Salt-N-Pepa’s current tour ‘I Love The 90’s’:
It feels like you’re taking people back to a time in their lives that they really enjoyed. It’s just one big ’90s party.
On their tour’s set list:
…All the classics…When we do Whatta Man, we pull a bunch of guys onstage and have fun with them. During (Spinderella’s) DJ set, we celebrate girl power and bring a bunch of girls onstage and party with them. We do some album cuts that everybody might not know, but we say in the beginning of our show, ‘This is not a show, this is a Salt-N-Pepa experience.’ We say that because, back in the day, performing felt more like, ‘We are here to entertain you.’ But now it feels like we are hanging out with friends and we don’t feel pressure to put on a show. We just have fun with the crowd and the crowd has fun with us.
On hanging out on the road:
Kid ‘N Play. They’re family. We grew up in the same camp…We hang out with them. (Christopher “Kid” Reid) is hilarious: keeps us cracking up and keeps us going, so it’s fun being able to hang with all the boys.
On what she can’t leave home without:
…A Pillow Pet that I’ve had with me forever. His name is Oreo, he’s a panda. Literally, I’m walking through the airport like a big kid holding that panda. All the other kids with Pillow Pets are stopping and looking at me like I’m crazy. And I have to have my UGGs…my UGGs are going to be in my suitcase.”
By –@andreadiggs [USA Today]